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Grigorenko relents, tells Sabres he’ll report to QMJHL

Jan 12, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

grigorenkogetty Getty Images

After a tense weekend in which he put up a fight in being assigned to the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts, Mikhail Grigorenko told the Buffalo Sabres that he’ll accept his demotion.

The 19-year-old is too young to be assigned to the AHL’s Rochester Americans, which would probably be that middle-of-the-road path between competition the Sabres likely believe is over his head in the NHL vs. opponents who probably don’t push him enough at the junior level.

The numbers make the argument pretty plainly. He had 85 points in 59 games in the QMJHL in 2011-12 and 54 in 33 games with the Ramparts last season. Conversely, he only has eight points in 43 games split between the last two seasons in the NHL with Buffalo.

Does this mean the awkwardness is over? No, but the two sides can gather themselves and try to mend the fences as the process goes along. (Assuming new GM Tim Murray doesn’t have a trick up his sleeve, of course.)

  1. stcrowe - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    That is the right move. The problem with the social media age is that people sometimes vent online before thinking something through. It doesn’t help that he is 19 years old, and his Facebook postings are followed by the media.

    Hopefully, the new management puts a plan together for this team, and for his development.

  2. pmonte3122 - Jan 13, 2014 at 4:32 AM


  3. ibieiniid - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    what’s up with all these prima donna Russians? seriously, they need to have a league they can join in their home country or something…………

  4. badgerhockey77 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    I’ve never watched Grigorenko play for the Sabres. But, I did watch him playing for Russia’s World Junior team this year and last. He wasn’t that impressive at all. There were four or five other Russians on the team who impressed me WAY more than him. Disappointing really. I guy with that much NHL experience should be dominating. Maybe Grigorenko just isn’t that good. Sabres are perhaps correct in sending him down.

    • carolinatitan10 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Yeah, he only had 5 goals and 7 points. Seriously? He is, like many young European players, a guy that needs to be pushed to his higher level…that is why he dropped to #12 in the draft. Darcy Regier screwed him up because he was desperate for centers and kept him when he should have been back in Juniors. Pat LaFontiane, Tim Murray, and Ted Nolan will get him back on track..the Sabres have finally got that right.

      • badgerhockey77 - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:12 AM

        Yes…I AM serious! Those points came against Norway and Switzerland. He completely disappeared in the big games and was outplayed by other teammates!

  5. pi2000 - Jan 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    It’ll be a short stint in the QMJHL as he’ll be sent to Rochester in 2-3 months when the Remparts season is over.

  6. lonespeed - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    “Look kid, you can stay, but we’d like to see you branch out your skills. We’re going to scrimmage you against Scott and Konopka everyday to see if you can develop. They need a sparing partner anyways.”

    “Oh, sorry to hear that. John and Zenon will be disappointed. See you in training camp then. We’ll send out a presser to let everyone know you’re going to report to your junior team.”

  7. swesson57 - Jan 13, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    It’s nice to see someone got a hold of this kid and talked some sense into him. He might make some serious cash if he signed in the KHL, but if you want to ever maybe, possibly be known as one of the great ones, it will only happen if you play in the NHL. Nobody in the world outside of Eastern Europe cares about or pays attention to the KHL. Everyone, including Eastern Europe pays attention to the NHL.

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